Special Newsletter: Caneel Bay
On January 18, the National Park Service (NPS) published Caneel Bay Redevelopment And Management Plan Newsletter outlining the options under consideration for Caneel Bay, announcing opportunities for discussion, and asking for written feedback by February 17, 2022.
As the philanthropic partner of the Virgin Islands National Park, Friends recognizes it serves the public as both a vehicle and a voice to stand up for the preservation and protection of the natural and cultural resources found in Virgin Islands National Park and Coral Reef National Monument. As such, we are deeply vested in the future of Caneel Bay.
This Special Newsletter outlines the issues Friends views as priorities, summarizes the Alternatives currently on the table, and provides information on meetings and deadlines for feedback.
In brief, Friends would like to see the following elements taken into consideration in any solution for Caneel Bay:
1. Friends advocates for science to drive the NPS decision-making with regard to the best approach to preserving natural and cultural resources of Virgin Islands National Park. Any solution needs to take into account, and plan for, long term pressures including the ability for the island to handle an increased number of visitors and related traffic, waste management etc.
2. Friends advocates for the process determining the future of Caneel Bay to be responsive to public feedback. These are public lands and the right to public and community access must be a part of any solution.
3. Upon the expiration of the RUE in September of 2023, we ask for NPS to take accountability for the preservation and protection of the Caneel Bay property, including the completion of the environmental assessments and determinations regarding the disposal of known hazardous waste on the premise. All solutions need to ultimately address the current environmental contamination of the property, include environmental concerns in the approach to any redevelopment and reconstruction, and long term allow for the National Park Service to monitor ongoing environmental impacts.